Electric heaters can keep you warm but when used incorrectly can also be hazardous. In fact, space heaters are the number one cause of home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association. When winter approaches mindfulness is crucial in regards to how people heat their home but the good news is there are some important safety tips that can be followed to prevent disaster when using an electric heater.
1. An electric heater should be kept a minimum of three feet away
Many homes are filled with combustible materials including the likes of leather imitation items or microfiber chairs and sofas. Thus fires can spread very quickly, with deadly results. A three foot perimeter should therefore be kept around heaters at all times.
2. Use one outlet for one plug
One of the most vital electric heater safety tips is to make certain that the electrical wiring in your home is able to cope with a particular electric heater. If it is then only that device should be used with that outlet. Electric heaters should never be plugged into extension cords and the three feet rule mentioned above should continue to be observed.
3.Watch your electric heater
Electric heaters should never be left alone when turned on. Mistakes can happen when electric heaters are left unattended, especially when there are pets or young children in the home. The simple truth is that if there is no one in the room, the electric heater should be turned off the moment you leave it.
It is also important to not fall asleep in the same room as an electric heater, with 85% of home heating fatalities caused by space heaters. If you are feeling tired, turn the heater off and unplug it, ensure it has cooled down, and then go to bed.
4.Check your smoke detectors
Given the amount of home heating deaths that are the result of using space heaters, it is vital to make sure that your smoke detectors are working in the proper manner so that if a fire does happen you will be alerted and able to evacuate in time to prevent loss of life.
5. Stop using excessively hot electric heaters
If your electric heater or the power cord that it is attached to seem excessively hot to the touch, turn the device off and unplug it. This heater should not be used again until it has been checked out by an appliance repairman. If the electric heater is old, then you should consider simply replacing it altogether. Dispose of the heater completely and do not leave it outside or donate it for others to use.
6. Check your heater
Electric heaters should be checked and immediately replaced if they have loose connections, damaged prongs or a frayed or cracked cord.
7. Keep cords visible
Heater cords should be kept visible and not hidden under rugs, carpet or items of furniture.
Heeding safety advice when using electric heaters will greatly reduce the risk of fire.